Despite the numerous benefits of the postpartum copper intrauterine device (PPIUD), which is inserted within 48 hours after giving birth, it is underutilized in many resource-constrained settings, including Tanzania. We conducted in-depth interviews with 20 pregnant women who received contraceptive counseling during routine antenatal care in 2016-2017 and 27 postpartum women who had a PPIUD inserted in 2018 to understand reasons for use versus nonuse and continuation versus discontinuation. Primary motivators for using a PPIUD included: convenience, effectiveness, perceived lack of side effects, and duration of pregnancy protection. Barriers to use included: fear of insertion, concerns related to sexual experiences post-insertion, and limited knowledge. Women who had a PPIUD inserted continued use when their expectations matched their experience, while discontinuation resulted from unexpected expulsion and experience of unanticipated side effects. Frequent follow-up and guidance on side-effect management influenced women's decisions to continue use. To support uptake and continued utilization of the PPIUD, postpartum contraceptive counseling should explicitly address side effects and risk of expulsion.
© 2019 The Authors. Studies in Family Planning published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Population Council.